Safe Routes to Transit for Fond du Lac Ave

At the end of 2023’s Fall semester, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin worked with Dr. Robert Schneider’s Planning Policy Analysis class at UWM. We presented our case that Fond du Lac Ave (Wis-145) through the City of Milwaukee is in need of corridor visioning.

These Masters of Urban Planning students had three weeks to research and present alternatives focusing on streetscape and public transit improvements. Groups of classmates selected recommendations based on four criteria generated to address the problems with Fond du Lac Ave as guest presenters defined it.

Students had the opportunity to hear guest presentations from:

  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation
  • Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
  • Milwaukee County Transit Service
  • City of Milwaukee Department of Public Work
  • City of Milwaukee Health Department
  • Northwest Side Community Development Corporation
  • Dominican Center
  • Amani United
  • Sherman Phoenix

While students presented various of alternatives for Fond du Lac Ave, several overarching findings are clear.

  • Fond du Lac Ave travels through a diversity of Milwaukee communities with varying travel needs and the corridor needs to support each one. Milwaukee’s north side communities have been subjected to disinvestment. Each community deserves a substantial rework of Fond du Lac Ave as one piece of a sustained reinvestment effort.
  • Fond du Lac Ave is one of Milwaukee’s most dangerous arterials. Changing Fond du Lac Ave is imperative to achieve Vision Zero in Milwaukee. To achieve safety gains along Fond du Lac Ave will likely require focused attention to simplify major intersections. The cross-section of the street, while not great, is similar to other, safer Milwaukee streets. Its diagonal orientation and the subsequent multi-legged intersections significantly contribute to its danger.
  • A quick round of improvements to Fond du Lac is needed ASAP; however, a long-term vision for improving transit along the corridor is also needed. Given Fond du Lac’s prominence, the corridor is well positioned to provide high-quality transit access to Milwaukee’s north side. An effort to improve Fond du Lac Ave is most sensible accomplished in iterations.

Read the student reports:

It has been an incredible pleasure working with Dr. Robert Schneider’s class on this effort. Visioning a future for Fond du Lac Ave requires substantial engagement with community partners and advocacy pressure to begin enacting improvements. This hopefully serves as just the beginning to much more work ahead.